November 2, 2013

Clocks get turned back tonight


---- — ALBANY — It’s time to turn the clocks back.

Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, so people usually set their clocks to “fall back” before they go to bed tonight.

Of course, it’s not an issue for the many people using smartphones, as those devices will automatically switch to the new time.

The fall time switch is also used by public-service organizations as an annual reminder to check smoke-alarm batteries.

“When you turn the clocks back, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working,” the American Red Cross advises. “It’s also a great time to check your carbon-monoxide detectors.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in more than one-third of home fire deaths, no smoke alarms were present. In one-quarter of home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.

“Disconnected, missing or dead batteries were the reasons existing alarms did not operate,” Firemen’s Association of the State of New York President James Burns said in a news release.

“The statistics tell the story of how important it is for you to check your alarms: 36 percent of fatal fire victims never wake up before being injured.

“Now is the perfect time to check your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and replace the batteries.

“Smoke detectors are the first line of defense against the deadly effects of fire.”

As for the body’s biological clock, Dr. Meena Khan at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said, it will take about two days to adjust to the change.

She suggests getting a good sleep by lying down in an environment that’s dark, quiet and has no artificial light.

Set a routine for when you go to bed and when you wake up, she said, and be as active as you can during the day.